Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenaries Cosmas
and Damian, of Mesopotamia, and their mother, St. Theodota (3rd
c.) (I Cor. 12:27-13:8; Matt. 10:1, 5-8). Hieromartyr Benignus of
Dijon, priest and apostle of Burgundy (ca. 272). St. Stremonius
(Austremoine), first bishop of Clermont and apostle of the Auvergne
(3rd c.). Martyrs Cyrenia and Juliana, in Cilicia (305). Hieromartyrs
John the bishop and the priest James, in Persia (345). St. Marcellus,
bishop of Paris (ca. 430). Martyr Hermeningilda the Goth, prince of
Spain (586). Martyrs Caesarius, Dacius, Sabbas, Sabinian, Agrippa,
Adrian, and Thomas, at Damascus (7th c.). Martyrs James of Mt.
Athos and his two disciples James and Dionysius (1520). St. David of
Euboea (1589). St. Cosmas of Verkhoturye (1704). New Virgin-
martyr Helen of Sinope (18th c.).
Repose of Elder Hilarion of
Valaam and Sarov (1841).
I Thess. 4:1-12
Wine and oil allowed
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God
By St. Theophan the Recluse
Wednesday. [I Thess. 4:1-12; Luke 11:42-46]
The Lord reproaches His contemporaries
by saying that they pass over the judgement and the
love of God. The drying up of righteousness and love
is the root of all disharmony both in society and in every
person. It comes from the predominance of self-love or
egoism. When egoism enters the heart an entire horde of
passions is multiplied. It itself strikes out against
righteousness and love, which require selflessness; while
the passions generated from it chase away all other
virtues. And the person becomes, by his heart’s
disposition, unsuitable for anything that is truly good.
He can still tithe mint and rue and all manner of
herbs, but he does not have the courage to do anything
more substantial. This does not mean that his outer
behaviour is improper. No, in every way it is adorned with
decency, only on the inside he is as a grave which
appeareth not, and the men that walk over it are not aware
of it. The beginning of self-correction is the
beginning of the appearance of selflessness in the heart,
after which righteousness and love are restored. Then, one
after the other, all other virtues begin coming to life.
Then the person becomes noble in the eyes of God because
of his heart’s dispositon, although on the outside
he may sometimes seem unprepossessing to other people. But
the judgement of man is not an important thing, provided
that God’s judgement is not against us.
SAINT THEOPHAN THE RECLUSE (1815–1894) was one of the most prolific and beloved spiritual writers of nineteenth-century Russia. His works, which comprise over twenty volumes, include such classics as The Path to Salvation and A Commentary on Psalm 118, as well as many volumes of letters. Although he lived the last twenty-eight years of his life as a hermit, his impact on his homeland was immense. His articles appeared in the popular spiritual journals of his time, his books were in great demand, and he personally replied to an average of thirty letters daily.
In the present book, Thoughts for Each Day of the Year, St. Theophan takes us through the yearly cycle of Gospel and Epistle readings, humbly and reverently offering us brief but powerful daily meditations on the word of God. He also addresses the problems of his day—lack of faith, coldness of heart, trust in the rational mind rather than in the revealed Truth of God—which are problems of our day as well.
Contemplating the sacred texts together with St. Theophan, the reader will learn to penetrate more deeply into Holy Scripture, and will receive answers to many dogmatic, moral, and spiritual questions which touch upon our salvation. Thoughts for Each Day of the Year can help us to more closely connect our lives with the life of Christ in His Holy Church, and to gain a better knowledge of how to fulfill His commandments. By reading St. Theophan's daily exhortations and taking them to heart, one can be changed by the grace-filled power of our Savior, in accordance with the teaching of the Apostle Paul: Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom. 11:2).
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year is published by St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood and Sretensky Monastery.
It is available at stherman.com/Catalog/Spiritual_Counsels/Daily_Thoughts_Book.html.
For further information on the Saint Herman Calendar contact St. Herman Press:
St. Herman Press, P.O. Box 70, Platina, CA 96076